Add shapes

You can add shapes, such as boxes, circles, and arrows, to your documents, email messages, slide shows, and spreadsheets. To add a shape, click Insert, click Shapes, select a shape, and then click and drag to draw the shape.

After you add one or more shapes, you can add text, bullets, and numbering to them, and you can change their fill, outline, and other effects on the Format tab.

Tip   You can add individual shapes to a chart, or add shapes on top of a SmartArt graphic to customize the chart or the graphic. For more information about using charts or SmartArt in your documents, see When should I use a SmartArt graphic and when should I use a chart?

Add a shape in Excel, Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint

  1. On the Insert tab, click Shapes.

    Insert Shapes button in Excel

    Insert Shapes button

  2. Click the shape you want, click anywhere in the workspace, and then drag to place the shape.

    Drawing a shape

    To create a perfect square or circle (or constrain the dimensions of other shapes), press and hold Shift while you drag.

Add a shape in Project

To follow these steps, you need to open or create a report. To do that, on the Report tab, click Recent to open an existing report, or click More Reports to select a report from the list in the Reports dialog box or create a new report.

  1. In the open report, on the Design tab, click Shapes.

    Insert Shapes button
  2. Click the shape you want, click anywhere in the workspace, and then drag to place the shape.

    Drawing a shape

    To create a perfect square or circle (or constrain the dimensions of other shapes), press and hold Shift while you drag.

What else do you want to do?

Add text to a shape

Change from one shape to another shape

Add the same shape multiple times

Add a bulleted or numbered list to a shape

Add a Quick Style to a shape

Change the color of a shape

Delete a shape

Add text to a shape

Insert a shape, or click an existing shape, and then enter text.

  1. Right-click the shape and click Add Text or Edit Text, or just start typing.

    Note   The text that you add becomes part of the shape — if you rotate or flip the shape, the text rotates or flips also.

  2. To format and align your text, click the Home tab, and then choose options from the Font, Paragraph, or Alignment groups, depending on the program you're using and what kind of formatting you want to apply. (Text formatting options are limited in Project.)

Top of Page

Change from one shape to another shape

Note    These commands aren't available in Project.

  1. Click the shape you want to change.

    To change multiple shapes, press Ctrl while you click the shapes that you want to change.

  2. On the Format tab, in the Insert Shapes group, click Edit Shape Edit Shape button, point to Change Shape, and then click the new shape that you want.

Top of Page

Add the same shape multiple times

If you need to add the same shape repeatedly, you can do so quickly by using Lock Drawing Mode.

Note   Instead of adding individual shapes to create a drawing, you might want to create a SmartArt graphic. In a SmartArt graphic, the arrangement of the shapes and the font size in those shapes is updated automatically as you add or remove shapes and edit your text.

  1. On the Insert tab, click Shapes.

    Insert Shapes button in Excel

    Insert Shapes button

  2. Right-click the shape you want to add, and then click Lock Drawing Mode.

    Lock Drawing Mode
  3. Click anywhere in the workspace, and then drag to place the shape.

  4. Repeat step 3 to add the shape as many times as you like.

    Tip   To create a perfect square or circle (or constrain the dimensions of other shapes), press and hold Shift while you drag.

  5. After you add all the shapes you want, press Esc.

Top of Page

Add a bulleted or numbered list to a shape

Note    This feature isn't available in Project.

  1. Select the text in the shape that you want to add bullets or numbering to.

  2. Right-click the selected text, and on the shortcut menu, point to Bullets, and then click Bullets and Numbering.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To add bullets, click the Bulleted tab, and then choose the options that you want.

    • To add numbering, click the Numbered tab, and then choose the options that you want.

Top of Page

Add a Quick Style to a shape

Quick Styles let you apply a style to your shape with one click. You'll find the styles in the Quick Style gallery. When you rest your pointer over a Quick Style thumbnail, you can see how the style affects your shape.

  1. Click the shape you want to change.

  2. On the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click the Quick Style you want to use.

    Shape Styles group

    To see more Quick Styles, click the More button Button image.

Top of Page

Change the color of a shape

To learn how to change fill color, border color, or text color, see Change the colors in a text box or shape.

Delete a shape

  • Click the shape that you want to delete, and then press Delete. To delete multiple shapes, press Ctrl while you click the shapes that you want to delete, and then press Delete.

Top of Page

Related information

Draw or delete a line, connector, or freeform shape

Rotate a text box, shape, WordArt, or picture

Change the colors in a text box or shape

Choose a SmartArt graphic layout

Create a chart

Find pictures or clip art online

Draw and sketch on a page in OneNote

Applies To: Excel 2016, Word 2016, Outlook 2016, PowerPoint 2016, Project Professional 2016, Excel 2013, Word 2013, Outlook 2013, PowerPoint 2013, Project Pro for Office 365, Project Standard 2013, Project Professional 2013



Was this information helpful?

Yes No

How can we improve it?

255 characters remaining

To protect your privacy, please do not include contact information in your feedback. Review our privacy policy.

Thank you for your feedback!

Change language